Most of the time, smart DNS services require a minimal amount of effort on your side to get things set up. Regardless of the device you use, this always includes accessing the properties of your internet connection and manually changing the DNS address of your machine. Of course, this process varies from device to device, just because of the fact that they different kinds of machines. Nevertheless, OverPlay offers setup guides for every case, even via video tutorials. Do not be discouraged – this is a very simple process. We would also like to emphasize here that a DNS address is not the same thing as an IP address. They might appear on the same page when you manually set a smart DNS connection up, but pay attention to not confusing them.
Despite all this, OverPlay is a bit different from your average smart DNS provider in a positive way. The reason for this is that there is a browser based feature for the service, called JetSwitch. This is a tool that allows you to customize your smart DNS by selecting regions for channels. For example, if you are interested in the U.S. side of Amazon Instant Video, but you can only view UK content, JetSwitch comes in handy. With a simple… switch of a button, you can change the specifics of channels like Netflix, History Channel or Zattoo. Even though this is a very useful feature, we are a little bit concerned that the sole reason it might be included is that OverPlay does not have country specific DNS addresses, rather just one pair to use.
Channels & Streaming Services
As a standalone service, you get to unblock various channels across 24 countries. The total number of broadcasts is well over 200, and new ones are added regularly. Even though some of these are present in multiple countries, about half of the channels can be found in the United States alone. This creates a slightly one sided list, but there is some essential local content represented for most locations anyway. Furthermore, most broadcasts sit in the range of music, sports and other entertainment. Overall, we think that while this part of OverPlay’s palette is fine, the tendency of more and more stations introduced hopefully continues.
Smart DNS Network
There is a drawback to the smart DNS network of OverPlay. You only have one pair of addresses to change to (a primary and a secondary one), meaning that there is one central way for all customers to unblock content with OverPlay. The benefit here though is that since there is a VPN side to the company’s services, you gain access to the complete list of servers and locations, too if you subscribe to the VPN as well. For speed values, we had this one pair of addresses to probe as a consequence. They did perform steadily, though – OverPlay SmartDNS is a good service for streaming.
OverPlay does have a VPN service as well, next to the smart DNS. While the latter is available as a standalone buy, the former can only be bought in unison with the smart DNS. Because of this duality, both of them share the same number of locations, meaning that OverPlay VPN has 48 servers and 31 countries to connect to. Furthermore, server addresses and the security protocols that they can run on are public. Three such methods are supported: PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, complete with client software and apps.
OS, Device Support
OverPlay’s device support is not bad, but it stands out in the field of routers only. For operating systems, you have Windows Vista and 7-10 to connect with, along with Mac OS X. Mobile devices include iOS and Android. Gaming consoles are also supported, with PS3 and PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox one, and lastly Wii U. The company lists devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku as streaming devices. There is only one smart television up for use, Samsung TV. And finally, the great list of routers include D-Link, TP-Link, Asus, Linksys, Netgear, 2wire, Apple routers, Fritz Box, Huawei and DD-WRT.
In order to try out OverPlay SmartDNS for free, you have to undergo strict measures, at least compared to other companies on the market. The one-day free trial (which is not that much) of the organization can only be accessed if you are subscribed to the VPN service, and you contact the company with your intention. In terms of the paid packages themselves, they are available in two formats: the smart DNS in itself or smart DNS + VPN, both at relatively standard prices. For all purchases, you are eligible for a five-day refund.
One month of the standalone smart DNS service costs $4.95. Thrice the duration fares at $4.65 per month or $13.95 for the full duration, at a mere 6% off. Half a year wagers slightly better, with $4.49 per month ($26.95) – this offer is still only 9% cheaper than the base price. The best smart DNS package is the annual one, at a cost of $4.16 per month or $49.95 when looking at the total duration, meaning a commotion of 15%.
SmartDNS + VPN
For the unified VPN + smart DNS package, you are going to meet more of the same. The monthly plan costs $9.95, which is again a common VPN price. Three months are 6% off here as well, with $9.31 per month or $27.95 in total. The biannual package is 11% less costly from the standard price – $8.82 per month, totaling to $52.95. And finally, a whole year of Overplay VPN + smart DNS needs a fee of $8.32 per month or $99.95 in total, at 16% off. Overall, there is nothing special about these values.
Payment options include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and PayPal. Furthermore, the company emphasizes that payments are recurring and are charged automatically upon renewal date unless service is cancelled prior to renewal.” Therefore make sure to end business with the company in a timely manner if you do wish to do so.
Customer service is not that bad with OverPlay. Our most pleasant surprise came through when we clicked on the Support section. Apart from the extensive knowledgebase of the company, you can post a public question as well, more or less replacing the ticket submission system. The main function of this type of help is simply to expand the knowledgebase – you can type your own questions in, and if something similar has already been asked, you can view the public conversation. Apart from the above, you can contact the company via e-mail, or visit their blog more info. In terms of social media presence, OverPlay is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.
To sum up, OverPlay SmartDNS shines where it should shine; with its smart DNS service. We miss a true free trial offer, though the 5-day money back guarantee provides a safe way of trying the service free of charge. We understand that the JetSwitch feature is just great (it really is), but having just one pair of addresses is putting too much eggs in one basket in our opinion. As a remedy for the privacy conscious, the company advertises its VPN service too that has more advanced security options than a smart DNS. If you are willing to trust this organization, they will reward you with a leisurely online experience.
- Optional VPN service
- JetSwitch feature
- Standalone buy despite VPN
- Strict free trial and refund
- Few DNS addresses